Czech conservationists are trying to determine the value of a large painting that was found stored at a depository of the Valtice Chateau near Breclav, south Moravia. The painting dates back to the second half of the eighteenth century and was believed to feature Prince Joseph Wenceslas Lichtenstein, who owned the estate at the time, and his extended family. More intense research, though, has uncovered that the Prince is standing next to the Empress Maria Theresa and her relatives.
Robert J.W. Evans, a professor of history at Oxford, is one of the world's leading authorities on the historical development of Central Europe. Among other things, he has written an award-winning history of the Habsburg Empire, which is considered required reading for anyone interested in the evolution and legacy of the Habsburg monarchs who dominated this part of the world for six centuries up to the end of the First World War. Having started his academic career as a linguist, Professor Evans is also well known for his analysis of the role language
On Sunday Pope John Paul II declared five Roman Catholics blessed, adding them to a list of some 1,340 people he has so far put on the road to sainthood. Pope John Paul II has declared more people blessed than all his predecessors combined and in a number of cases his choice has raised controversy. One such figure is also the newly beatified Emperor Karl I, the last monarch to rule in what is now the Czech Republic.
Otto von Hapsburg, the son of Austro-Hungarian emperor Charles I, was granted honorary citizen of the spa town of Frantiske Lazne on Saturday in recognition of his efforts to promote the peaceful unification of Europe. He was also on hand to unveil a statue of his ancestor, Emperor Franz Joseph I, who founded the spa town in 1793. Von Hapsburg, a former Member of the European Parliament from Bavaria, had gone against many in his party by objecting to preconditioning Czech membership in the European Union to the abolishment of the so-called Benes Decrees, which led to the post-WWII expulsion of millions of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia.